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Remembering Retired U.S. Army Colonel Tom O’Donnell


We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Boot Campaign Board Member, U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Thomas O’Donnell. Tom passed away May 9, 2023 surrounded by his family in Charleston, South Carolina. 

A United States Military Academy graduate, Tom served for more than 25 years in the Army, retiring in 2004 as a Colonel. During his more than two decades in the military, Tom graduated from the Army’s Airborne and Ranger Schools, served on the Army General Staff, and was selected, in a national competition, to be a Congressional Fellow for the Department of Defense. He commanded units at multiple levels including a brigade and the Task Force Shield Iraq, comprised of 7 battalions and over 15,000 local nationals, protecting over 250 facilities throughout Iraq. Tom joined Exxon Mobile as an executive where he worked for more than 16 years following his military service.

An Army colleague and former Boot Campaign Board Member, Major General (Ret.) Lee Baxter introduced Tom to our mission. 

“Tom was an irresistible personality, a superb commander and one of the very finest officers I ever knew in the Army,” Lee shared. “The ultimate people person, he could be polished, zany, professional and funny all at once and I knew he would be a fine fit serving on the board at Boot Campaign. Tom was a dear friend and I will miss him enormously.”

“Beyond his family, what mattered most to Tom was a life of service and giving back,” said Boot Campaign CEO Shelly Kirkland. “Tom was a passionate patriot who was always working to ensure that those he served alongside were well taken care of so they know and feel: YOU MATTER.”


Pictured above from left to right: Boot Campaign staff Lindsey Lott and Jenny Howland, former Boot Campaign Board Member Major General (Ret.) Lee Baxter, former Boot Campaign Board Member Cheryl Endres and U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Thomas O’Donnell.